Go out into the world and fear nothing!
A few weeks ago I read the above quote in the Daily Guidepost and I shared it here. It is actually a blessing that Pastor David Kidd says over his congregation at the end of each service. It became the church's motto. As soon as I read it, I stored it in my heart as a reminder for when any kind of fear or caution comes knocking on my door.
My husband does not need a reminder to "fear nothing". He is one who goes out into the world in obedience to God no matter what the cost. Last January he was healed overnight. I wrote about that HERE , so I will share a shorter version. We had watched a Biblical teacher, Andrew Wommack, whom a friend recommended. He was speaking on "God Wants You Well". As Christians we certainly knew that God healed people, but this was a new way of us looking at healing and also the gift of a prayer language. When we went to bed that night I asked Joel what he thought of this way of praying for healing and if he ever wanted the gift of speaking in tongues.
His reply was, "I don't know about this, I need to process it. And I am not sure what I would do with the gift of speaking in tongues." As he climbed into bed he decided to pray for healing remembering what Andrew Wommack had shared, and then he fell asleep. He woke up at 4am and knew he was healed. He said, "I am healed. And I can speak in tongues too!" At which time he did. He believes that he was given the gift of a prayer language as confirmation of his healing. We were amazing, humbled, and thankful. A month later I, too, received the gift of speaking in tongues. We also began seeing results to our prayers for my own healing, although mine has been a much slower process.
So there we were, an ELCA Lutheran pastor of 32 years and his wife, standing on Isaiah 53:5...."By HIS stripes we are healed". Believing God wants us well. And there we were speaking in tongues, using a personal prayer language to communicate with God spirit to spirit. We kept this to ourselves for a while. It was so new, so exciting, so a.m.a.z.i.n.g. After about a month we shared it with our children. Then Joel shared it with his colleague group, and then a few friends. He discovered there were other Lutheran pastors who had the gift of speaking in tongues but they had kept it to themselves.
We read and continue to read as much as we can on both subjects, we spent a great deal of time watching Biblical teachings from several difference sources, and we continue to study God's Word on healing and the gifts of the spirit.
Eventually Joel felt strongly that God wanted him to speak out on his testimony...the healing, speaking in tongues, the healing available for others, ALL of it....and to God be the glory. He has had a variety of questions and reactions from family, friends, or congregational members. He is also praying with people for healing more than ever before because God has instructed him to do so. He is stepping out boldly into the world and fearing nothing, no matter the cost.
I have been more cautious to share some of our journey publicly. What would people think of us speaking in tongues or speaking of the same power that raised Jesus from the dead being within us to heal? What would people think if I declare that I believe that I am healed, but am still having symptoms and limited it what I do?! I was worried, but in obedience today I share "the rest of the story".
For two crusty old Lutherans on the down hill slide to 70, life has been turned upside down this year! We are now on a whole new path of God's choosing, and at times we are in uncharted but exciting territory! It may be a bumpy ride, but God is with us, and we are holding on tight. We need fear nothing, and that includes speaking out boldly about our own journey.
"(Pray)....that I may speak boldly as I ought to speak."